Tragedy within the Aristotelian context “treats in a serious and dignified style the sorrowful or terrible events encountered or caused by a heroic individual’. According to Aristotle, “the tragic hero must be one who is highly renowned and prosperous -a personage like Oedipus, Thyestes or illustrious men of such families”
However, tragedy has assumed another dimensional definition as it is now also associated with common people. What constitutes tragedy now “is not really the personage involved, but the quality of the person’s spirit (Oyibo Eze, 2004:78). According to Arthur Miller,
The quality of… tragedy… derives from the underlining fear of being displaced, the disaster inherent in being turn away from our chosen image of what and who we are in the world … the fear is as strong, and perhaps stronger than it ever was. In fact it is the commonest man who knows this fear best. (1974:895).
Aristotle is of the view that the tragic character must be “a man who is not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty”.
Tragic atmosphere connotes conditions or situations with smacks of tragedy. These conditions amongst others include pity sorrow, regret, lamentation, uncertain and imminent danger, fear, disaster, threats to life, and so on. Elegy as a poem dedicated to the dead may be written in verse or rendered in a song as a dirge.
In the elegies of Fidelis Okoro, tragic atmosphere is manifest in various ways ranging from lamentation, sorrow, regret, violence, pity and fear of imminent danger, death, mood and tone of the audience and poet persona, respectively. His poetry collections Pimples and Dimples, and When the Bleeding Heart Breaks contain elegiac poems some of which include the threnody – ‘Ossie Melody’, “Oblivion”, “Farewell Joy”, and “Odumegwu”. Other elegiac poems include “Mama, I May Not Come Home Tonight”, “Bloody Altar”, “Bloody Throne”, “Freedom Planet” as well as pidgin poems – “E Don Tey”, “kwuredible Eleshon Don Kwom” and “His Royal Bombness” – (all in Pimples and Dimples). In When The Bleeding Heart Breaks, the poem – “On My Dying Bed”, is not left out.
In “Mama, 1 May Not Come Home Tonight’ (for the boy born in Gaza), the poem, with the themes of hopelessness, vengeance and death, is centered on the tragic fate of the citizen of Gaza region of Palestine. The persona, a young lad from Gaza, being aware of the tragedy of the male folk renders this dirge as a direct address to his mother. In stanza 1, he expresses uncertainty of his surviving that day as the tragic atmosphere of death looms around him -“shattering night and shadow cast over the land”. His father and brother had died under similar circumstance; and him own son (if he would survive to have one) would suffer same fate.
Stanza 2 depicts pessimism as the tragic atmosphere persists around him, “….every sound is that of gun, every sight is that of devastation, and every gathering is a funeral”. (P. ).
Stanza 3 personifies fear, a tragic element as “Godzilla”, walking in Godlike destructive feet, with teeth similar to that of gorilla, having wings flying like the destructive bomber helicopter – Apache.
In stanza 4, the tragic atmosphere continues as blood and land are exchanged, as war rages amidst peace talks, as signs of love are made with hands on dagger – treacherous diplomacy. Here the persona sees himself as drowning in the sea of sorrow all the time. It is indeed a choking atmosphere.
In stanza 5 it is injustice to use destructive weapons on unnamed individuals. Bloodshed and injustice as indicators of tragedy are endless where wrath and vengeance dwell. Wrath and vengeance are personified as mother and father of bloodshed respectively, while vengeance is both father and child of injustice. The recurrence of wrath, vengeance, bloodshed, and injustice connote a tragic and hopeless atmosphere.
In stanza 6, “the sky is pregnant’ depicts uncertainty as danger looms. ‘”The stars are falling tonight’ alludes to the meteorites (falling stars) which are symbolic of the promising and prominent people that are being killed (tonight), alluding to Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar – “when the poor dies, there are no comets seen; the heavens themselves blaze forth the death of Princes”. In the night, the heroes of Gaza are killed while the day is for their burial, still in reiteration of the tragic atmosphere. The poem ends with a repettion of the sad conditional comment – “if you don’t see in the morning, Mama, weep for me”. It is like the request of a dying man, as he wants her to do it the way she did it for persona’s father, brother, and would have done it for his son if he had lived to have one. The tone of lamentation which generates pathos in the audience also adds to the tragic atmosphere.
Okoro, the poet and commentator on human condition goes cosmopolitan as he knows that “injustice any where is a threat to justice every where’ as Martin Ruther King said. The plight of the tragic Palestinians rendered helpless and homeless by the Jewish Zionist gunboat militancy fuelled by reminiscences of the tragic historical holocaust, is the concern of the humanistic poet. He uses his poetic ingenuity to create before the audience a horrifying endless theatre of bloodshed with the persona and his race being at the negative receiving end.
In another poem, “Bloody Altar,” the poet reminds us of the tragic result of religious fanaticism which breeds intolerance and bloodshed. He sees as barbaric any religion and its adherents that shed the blood of the innocent as a result of religious differences. It in this intolerance that makes fanatics see others as infidels (‘faithless”’), ‘despicable’ and “death-deserving”. The tragic atmosphere is evident in the images of ‘burnt and deserted city’, ‘odour of decomposing corpses’, remains of destroyed cars in all the land that has unburied corpses everywhere, and smoke emission in the atmosphere.
The tone of lamentation as the rhetorical questions suggest indicates tragedy. The poet wonders which religion is pleased by these ugly scenes – “on whose altar are these incense?” (P….. of Pimples and Dimples) He also wonders which religion cherishes the ‘cry’ ‘pain’ ‘agony’ and ‘anguish’ of the parentless and childless- “On whose altar is this a libation? Lastly, the poet wonders the river god that the river of blood from these crises feed, as water sources or fountain of life – to which God is this a tributary?
The poem depicts a tragic atmosphere as both setting and characters – (altar and supplicants)--religion and worshippers are bloody. The “charred remains of a deserted city’, ‘carcas of cars’, ‘decomposing corpses’ --‘open mortuary” “mount sword’ “silent cemetery’ “Red river”, are some of the phrases that indicate destruction and tragic setting.
Apart from the use of artistic crafting to pictorize and concretize a gory scene of tragedy, the rekindled olfactory perception experience indicate an imaginary nauseating scene in a state of purification evident in the impression – “the acrid smell of decomposing corpses’ (p. 81 Pimples and Dimples).This paints an atmosphere the audience would hate to witness.,
The ‘cry’, ‘pain’ ‘agony’ ‘anguish’, “stream flowing from the eyes’, are words and expressions that indicate the tone of lamentation of the persona, and are used to generate pathos on the audience. These deep emotional tones and moods of tragedy reflect on the atmosphere.
The rhetorical questions in the last lines of stanzas 7 – 9 appear answered with on assertive and emphatic statement in the last Stanza – “An altar bloodied by the blood of the innocent/is an altar defiled” (P.82 Pimples and Dimples). This is the judgment and conclusion of the poet on those religions and worshipers who destroy and debase humanity in the name of worship. There are already defiled because they have lost holiness which is the essence of religion and worship.
In a similar poem, ‘Bloody Throne’, the poet who appears metaphysical, highlights that illegality must always breed illegality. Any leadership gained violently can never give anything short of tragedy. Both throne and sceptre are qualified as “bloody’, Bloody throne brings with it bloody things. Justice, infrastructure fanfare, and laughter are all bloody -tragic.
These scenes of bloody experience go on till the tragedy is completed – all is dead. The entire atmosphere is filled up with images of tragedy. The images of blood- ‘bleeding’, ‘dead’, all point to tragic setting. The use of red colour print in writing some words in the poem indicate bloody setting which the situation portends. It is also symbolic of danger within the atmosphere.
Three elegies written by the poet on the passage of three intellectual icons in the Ivory Tower also smack of tragedy. ‘Ossie melody’ is a poem written in memory of Professor Ossie Enekwe popularly known as ‘Ossie Melody’ in his youthful days as a pop-musician before the Nigeria – Biafran Civil War. The poem like the classicals echoed by John Keats stresses the immortality of arts (poetry). The artist may die but his message (melody) lives. The persona narrates the story concerning a group who wanted to mould together a fine sculptural work, but ended up having a junk yard’ of ‘broken pots’. This is symbolic of the attempt at having a true nation (Nigeria) in which the founding fathers and subsequent leaders ended up destroying or polarizing the state with their selfish wicked, and discordant tunes (-… “capricious strings of mindless law!” … “croaky layer of their loose drums!” (P.87, LL1-4 Pinples andDimples).
Just as music of songs (melody of war) breed bloodshed, human beings have become cannibals, as was the case during the Nigeria civil war (… “in the last battle”.P. 88 line 3), when starvation turned people to cannibals. Today, same is the case as the various items that constitute life for the people are eaten up by the few and powerful - “Dieting on the cadaver cascading down his dining table (LL 1-2 P. 88).
The tragedy indicators include – “melody of war”, …. “eater of flesh’, “drinker of blood’, “man… the ultimate cannibal’, cadaver cascading”, “the lest battle’….
As was the case during the Nigerian- Biafran War era, when the thunderous cacophony of machine guns, mortar tankers and rocket – propelled grenades was onomatopoeically captured in local colour linguistic interpretation using code switching–‘kwapu kwapu, unu dum’, meaning in transliteration “pack away, pack away, all of you” as that was the negative familiar sound every where then. Much as the last war is over, and Ossie in dead, the same melody (cacophony) of ‘pack away’, still lives in the society today. The words – “thunder”, ‘fire’, ‘lightning’, “cacophony” and the expressive sound “kwapu kwapu unu dum’ which made people refuges during the war are tragic elements in the poem.
That same 'pack away’ order still holds sway in the society after Ossie Enekwe’s death as the commoners are rendered jobless and homeless with mindless laws. Motorcyclists are banned from operating in some states in Nigeria today, slums are destroyed with no provision made for housing the poor dwellers (‘ghetto dwellers”’), petty traders (hawkers) are banned from selling in the street in the cities, thereby depriving them of livelihood in the cities. Even the elites are not left out as the university dons (dons of the Ivory Tower P. 89, line 3) are also given the same quit order for not compromising their ideals.
The quit order that makes destitute out of all classes of the society is tragic. It’s easier to make bad laws than to give people job, home and hope. The only music that flows from wicked hearts is laws made with the blood of the innocent (poor). These laws are sharp objects that destroy the present and future and trigger rebellion. The images of “milkless breast”, “mindless law”, “blood of the poor”; “sharp… shackles on the throat, shackles that shape revolutions” are expressions that allude to tragedy.
Like the South African vuvuzela trumpet sound popularized globally during the 2010 FFA World Cup in south Africa, there is music everywhere with in harmony anywhere, as people hear something and do nothing. The noise is from dirty oil politics or interest leading to dictatorship. This ugly melody still reverberates after the death of the deceased artist. “Vuvuzela” as a metaphor for discordant sound, “build dozer diplomacy”, “Kwapumanic democracy’- an aberration to ideal democracy, are indicators of gloomy atmosphere as tragedy pervades everywhere.
The nation has gone so bad that vice easily prevails over virtue, nothing positive works. It is negativity that rules. But in the midst of all these, the hero, Ossie, though dead, still retains his integrity through his work. Tragic atmosphere is painted with expressions like –“…. Roast the ant of rectitude,” “… shot the antelope of truth”, “…tar the road to nepotism’ “… potholes to disorder”, “... plant the tree of terror’.. (P.90.. Pimples and Dimples ).
The poet also sees the nation as a land where few lived in affluence, with many in penury; where falsehood is everywhere with only a lone voice of innocence at a fragile corner; while financial crimes soar above with impunity, vicious and ugly situations are being re-fashioned for acceptability. The phrases- “…shadows and shackles of indigence”, “… future baked in the oven of poverty” “… nebulas of falsehood”, “…the cloud of calumny”,”… gardeners watering dead wood”,… “vulture of graft, gloating in the firmament of greed”, and “…bad brand needing re-branding”, all paint the tragic atmosphere surrounding the nation even after the hero’s death.
The people involved in this negative theatre of songs are not those operating within the world of civility, as the ugly situation and people are not ascending up the expected height of nationhood but nose-diving to abyss of destruction. However, the poet now wants all to be fully galvanized and not yield to defeat, no one should succumb to fate, by sitting on the fence. “The threnody of vultures dancing on cadaver”… and … “a descent to the valley of death’, all express tragic scenes.
There is ominous sound and pains of danger and signs of inevitable end even as man looks for solace. These are reflected in ‘echo… sounding deep…. Like the owl/the arrow piercing deep in the soul painful….” As animals (beings) look for water (life) and rest, so do they head toward the inevitable end-death. These are captured in “The camels….looking for the river/the birds are flying… for their roost/The sun…. to the west looking for it bed/The shadows are lengthening down…. (lines 1-8, P. 92 Pimplies & Dimples). At last every effort ends with death.
The rhetorical question toward the end of the poem creates an atmosphere of pessimism and uncertainty, thus;
The eternal symphony/the unchangeable melody will it come in a garb of green/or a cassock of grey? Will it play the strings of rainbow/or blow hot like the below? The answer, my friend/… is blowing in the wind. (P93. Pimples and Dimples).
The atmosphere which depicts tragedy combines with the elegaic tone that bemoans the passage of an icon, and the suffering of the masses, to give the audience a complete picture of tragic situation. According to P-J Eze, the tone of lamentation is noted in the stylistic application of apostrophe and pun with the hero’s “names and cognonames of the man or those of his works interrupted by the refrain.
“Oh see 1
Oh see 1
Oh see 1
And Ossie moves on
But the melody likes on”
‘Oblivion’ is another poem that forms part of the threnody. It is in memory of Professor Miriam Ikejiani-Clark, a university don, and it bemoans her passage. This poem is a direct address to the dead. The apostrophic approach has two addressees just as the poem has two movements. The addressees are the deceased –Miriam and death. The poem has many indicators of tragedy. The fact that “everywhere was dark”, with silence personified as “talking loudly”, ‘ringing thunderous bell of quiet” indicates tragic atmosphere ‘Bell of quiet” symbolizes the toll of death. The wish that the ugly fact be reversed- for the sunset to be reversed (the dead to come back to life) indicate tragic and unbearable circumstance. For the poet persona, death announcement (Obituary) should be annulled, and split, with its meaning destroyed so that no such thing exists again in real life: “That Obi has quarreled with Tuary/And would never with him reconcile (P. 101). The wish for meaningful reversal of some negative expressions like “gone….too soon” and “painful exit’ indicate a tragic condition that should not be.
The persona in disappointment wonders why the deceased should die at the apex of her career. The poet turns metaphysical as he addresses Death which has destroyed the beauty of woman, joy of man, made the throne vacant by slaying the monarch, killed the rich and poor and the unborn baby.
The last stanza, though defiant and optimistic also declares tragedy on Death, itself – Death will surely face the transition and burial funeral it has subjected people, and its own shall be once and for ever. The poet metaphysical attitude to death, similar to John Donne’s in defiance, smacks of tragedy as the tone is that of lamentation. The preponderance of tragic expressions and phrases like “everywhere was dank”, “silence was talking”, “Ringing thunderous bell of quiet”, “you crush the pauper and the prince …. Slew the husband…and crushed the baby in it mother’s womb”, and so on, are indicative of tragic atmosphere and incidents.
The poet, Okoro in uses another poem “Farewell Joy’ ad part of the threnody. The poem captures an atmosphere of mourning as the persona bemoans the passage of a faultless lady – “…Golden Heart that harbored no ill”. (Line 4.P111). The title itself is symbolic of the exit of happiness.
The personification –“ And welcome sorrow that now sings in our souls’ (Line 8, p.111) captures an atmosphere of tragedy.
‘”Vulture of death… on our roof” is a metaphor for tragedy. The wasted effort to save life through medication also indicates tragedy as the “drums of syrup” and “cartons of tablets only fell on the “back of stone and mountain”.
The lamentation that “life has served us a dish of grief/and a spoon of sorrow “(p.111) lines 15-16 indicates the elegiac nature of the poem, a resonance of Koffi Awunoor’s “songs of sorrow”. Life efforts are likened to wastes or vanity. It is like praise to an insatiable lady, heaps sacrifices to satisfy a lifeless god, and wasted energy spent in getting to the pinnacle of knowledge. The fact that the lady dies at child birth gives a vivid picture of tragic atmosphere.
To die giving life, the painful paradox of motherhood/ Sown like seed yam in the soil of misfortune /Harvest of sorrow in the souls of men (p112).
Sorrow drags people to hardship and dangerous circumstances – “River Wrinkles” which is life and its pains. But life goes on in spite of the dangers in it. Child bearing goes on despite some tragic incidents.
The persona’s tone of metaphoric lamentation on the evanescent nature of life as ‘morning dew on a sunny day day’, its unreliable nature –‘‘Slippery slope of a graying mountain’, and its perception as hollow sound – ‘echo loud and empty’, an inter textual resonance of Shakespeare’s Macbeth that “life is a waking shadow,/… a tale… full of sound and fury signifying nothing”, lays weight to the tragic setting.
Even as catharsis is created with consolatory optimistic tone inherent in the last but one stanza (p.113) the atmosphere is still charged with solemnity.
“Odumegwu’ is the last poem and threnody in the Pimples and Dimples collection. It is an elegy written in memory of Chief Emeka Odunegwu Ojukwu, a nationalist, warlord and Leader of the defunct Republic of Biafra. Like the last threnody, it is written in the form of apostrophe – direct address to the dead. It is an epic that laments the passage of a gallant leader. The casket of the deceased hero encases the symbolic great events as it serves as an ugly reminder of the past sufferings of the people; it reminds the people of the wounds in their souls/minds that are not healed under the scars of their ugly reminiscences. Tears still run through the eyes of the people as they recall their ugly history. The expressions-“sting in the marrow of memory”, “… pus in the scar of thought/stream in the retina of pain”, (lines 6-9 p.115) all indicate tragic lamentation.
The hero Odumegwu, which literally means the “fierce lion, or the lion that instills fear” was lured into the war by circumstances he could not avoid, and the war became inevitable when every trouble shooting venture was jettisoned in the perilous sea of aggression, as the Aburi Accord in Ghana was violated by the hero’s opponents with intrigues, making it impossible for peaceful resolutions:
“A dance you danced beside the shallow grave/ Where Aburi was buried
The grave where peace grew quick wings/ And flew to the tallest tree (pp. 115-116 Pimples and Dimples).”
The above indicates doom and imminent danger within the setting.
Personification is used to paint an atmosphere of tragedy as “the ravaging wolf of war/Tore the skirt off the waist of peace. / Rachel weeping in Ramah. (p.116).This is a Biblical allusion to ugly situation of war in which women are made widows and childless, without people to comfort them.
Other expressions of tragedy include ‘Stuffy wind of terror’, ‘hungry kites of war’, ‘murderous masons of malevolence’, carousing in the crucible of coffins and cadaver”.
Amidst all these, the weak and innocent people are doomed as they are surrounded by their over-powering enemies. Thus, their songs and pleas are likened to “soulful songs of spiders surrounded by fowls” (p.116, line 30, Pimples and Dimples). This depicts the tragic melancholy of the fragile innocent victims in the midst their lethal enemies.
Everybody from the endangered region was a victim. Literacy icons left the world of letters for the battle field. This is a reference to the legend, Christopher Okigbo, a poet, who died in the war with harness on his back. Husbands, children, women, babies were all victims in a thirty-month war that claimed about one million lives.
There is hypocrisy in reconciliation as the olive branch kite flown by the victor with three ‘R’ – shaped feathers – Reconciliation, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation was only a gimmick, a spurious declaration in which every twenty million pounds in the bank by a Biafran was replaced with twenty pounds only. Yet, the people survived and turned –around the paltry sum to twenty million pounds again. Recollection of the dark history of death, rape, destitution, starvation, and economic deprivation, paints a melancholic atmosphere of tragedy. The hero’s and his people’s tragic experiences are blended with comic experiences of the deceased in his love overtures, as he wins the battle of love marrying the beauty paegeant- Bianca, the same way Okonkwo in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart won the love of Ekwefi. In the midst of these amorous escapades, one still remembers the tragic end of Ahiara declaration,- a documented and heart-moving speech that captured the ideals of the defunct Republic of Biafra, that would be unequalled in the black world. It was a speech of intellectualism and revolution with propagandist outlook that galvanized and gave stoicism to the will of the Biafans during the war. Reference is also mode to the hypocritical Amnesty of “No Victor,No vanquished” as well as the politics of oil in the war. These ugly parts of history associated with the hero are tragic, the mixture with love notwithstanding.
As the man of history is being interred, tragic atmosphere is depicted as tears roll, with pains recalled, as people still expect the ideal peace (possibly from God or Heaven), which is the establishment of the Republic of Biafra as reflected in Ahiara declaration:
Tears…down the eyes/…pains exhumed from the tomb of memory/men still stands waiting for Ahiara. (Pimples and Dimples)
Amidst the tragic setting, the persona finds it difficult to bid the hero final farewell. He makes a comment indicating that whoever stands against injustice continues to live (in the memory of the people):
Difficult to say goodbye/…The man lives who in the face of injustice/ Stood up to say No. (Pimples and Dimples)
This intertextual echo of Wole Boyinka’s The Man Died mythologizes the hero, and has a cathartic impact on the audience.
“Freedom planet, 2011,” is a poem that highlights the Arab spring or revolution in the Arab world which started in January, 2011. It also challenges the hypocrisy of the West in the crisis. It is a revolution which involved a change of position – the enslaved exchanging position with the free. The expressions that indicate destruction allude to tragedy. These include:
Free the doomed and doom the free/…Bomb the people from above/ Feed the remnants from below/pull the triggers, cut the tongue/…. Let the bullets fly…./Let the bombs sing…..
These destructive elements paint a tragic setting. The poet challenges the oppressed to rise, using the Marxist revohtioncy aesthetics where violence is applauded if it guarantees catharsis to the oppressed. The poet also indicts the super powers for their hypocrisy in protecting some of the oppressors, and aiding the revolutionaries to overthrows others.
Let the ostrich hide its head/ let’s pretend we do not see
Let’s hoard truth and lets trade lies.
The hypocrisy game portends tragedy, just as the exchange of baton in oppression connotes endless tragedy in the settings – fill the pit but dig the trench.
“On My Dying Bed” is a poem in another collection –When The Bleeding Heart Breaks. It is a poem that records the wish of the poet persona on the day he died. The tone of solemnity coupled with the subject matter of death and ugly sides of life lived and what would happen make the scene tragic.
The persona wishes not to remember what he is missing at death. Some of these are the “‘happy tenants’ who would under – value their debts and insult the deceased’s wife. He also wishes not to remember this wickedness to his slaves and servants, the moray in the bank, land and law cases, opponents, assassinations- the widow of his murdered co-company executive, business cheating, extra-marital kids and wife, including the young girl whose future he destroyed. All these connote a life of tragedy. All these and other things he regrets convey an aura of tragedy.
Atmosphere of death is best conveyed in the following lines.
As I said towards the sunset, the sullen horizon beckoning.
As I move towards the anticlimax that will topple all mortals
As I swing towards the final coast the ebbing sea behind me
As I surmount the commas and colour to the final full stop that awaits all men… (p. 19-When The Bleeding Heart Breaks)
The emphasized words and pariazes are metaphors for death, as the narrator which on that day to have favour from above as he remembers the joy he brought to people, the peace in his home and the echo of truth he spoke while alive. Tragedy looms around him, his work notwithstanding. According to sop wells cited in Oyibo Eze, 2004,
‘Now what a back sea of terror has over whelmed him. Now as we keep our watch and wait the final day, count no man happy till he dies, free of pain at last; tragic element in September the strength. The use of personification – sorrow sere it swan song/as it drowned in the shallow shore” (LL 7-8 p. 51 when the bleed of hart breaks). The statement in stanza 1 preprinted a tragic atmosphere.
The dialogue in stanza 6 (L2)4…on see they could be two portends double mishaps. The twin babies are symbolic of the two jet plans that felled the twin towers in New York on September 11, 2001.
The one – word stanza (stanza 7) – Doooooom is an onomatopoeias tragic word (doom) but so stretched to convey its deserted meaning. In stanza words and phases and daunts contain mages indicative of tragic atmosphere abound – An earth quake? “Abomb”? Landside?” cataclysm? ‘Building’ dancing “Elevator collapsed” were sinkilling……” This is the climatic stanza that captures the disaster. As the periods of freshest and life give way to periods of dust and death; as the highest peak (twin towers) are now level ground (ground zero) the victims find themselves in tomb of fire; womb of grave; death’… the ultimate day of distraction of the world (Apocalypse) on this day of September 11, Durand death, tour of fire womb of grave and Apocalypse portray a tragic atmosphere.
The September 11th darter was global tragic that occurred in U.S but affected may countries of the world as some of their citizens were victims. It marked an open beginning of global which terrorism, and counter terrorism tragic conditions abound as well in flows pidgin poetry. ‘E don tey’ is elegiac chronicles and the gory history of crises in the Northern pact of Nigeria against the southerners. The killing and dumping of innocent school children in the well the killing of national with service corps members, burring of and destruction of his and property Christnas and southerners in the North, as well as the urge for vengeance, all paint an atmosphere of tragedy. The condition of the almajiri depicts tragedy as he is faced with poverty, illiteracy, hopeless and destitution, diseases and drug addiction.
References made to the September 11, 2001 twin-tower destruction and the suede bombings in the Jemsalem market, all done in the name of religion and hatred are indicators of global terrorism and tragedy.
The threat from the persona to retaliate with destructive weapons donate tragic atmosphere as it portends pessimist future.
“Me I day come with AK 47
I go beg CIA for drones and F15
Hinter condimental Ballistie missile and Ojwkwu Bucket (pp. 35-36).
The vendetta threat to average the deaths of the person’s people indicate bloody future which paint a tragic atmosphere.
Another poem Kwuredible Eleshon on kwom” depicts the tragic condition of the poor in the political setting – Nigeria where the dividends of democracy by the selfish politicians to Nigerians have always been the siphoning of funds through foreign accounts, starvation, joblessness, and in flatted budget to inflate the politicians pay-pack.
Still hunger day kwuredible feeble por Nayakand….
Still no kwuredible job….
Still dem day double budget double dem chof… (p.55, pimples and Dimples).
A nation where the leaders promise the citizens real or original products and give them the fake ones, is doomed.
‘Dem go promise us original
Dem go give us Taiwan
Dem go promise us follow kwom
Dem go give us belgurns…(pp55-56pimples and Dimples).
After the looking, the poor are the worse for it, and are held responsible for the sins after rich.
“After day don share finish
Day go hold foor man fikin for throat….(p.56-pimples and Dimples).
The condition of the poor citizens of Nigeria as they face exploitation, deprivation and oppression in the hared of those they elected through the farcical credible election (kwuredible eleshon) displays a tragic setting.
Another poem – his Royal Bombers is also past of his conbtraction to pidgin poetry. The poem decries the tragic hypocrisy of the western nations as ethnic cleansing, or racial profiling raged on in Rwanda. It indict the west of negligence probably became Rwanda has no economic benefits to the west, as it is not an oil producing nation amidst the tragic decimation of the hiatus by the Tutsis in Rwanda, the western powers are busy with felinsy excuses.
The blood-letting in the Arab world in which the blood-thirsty, bomber presidents (Mr ‘B’) are at centre displays a tragic atmosphere as leads to the death of presidents – Gaddaffin and Saddam Hussein of Lybia and lag respectively. It also leads to the bloody crises in the Arils covering Egypt, Lybia, Tunisia lag and faintly Syria. The selfish oil motive of the west fuels the crises, as they use their cronies to drain the economics of the affected nations. Its tragic that their selling motions are used to destroy and re-define democracy in the affected countries. This poem veggies the ugly sciences of carnage hypocritically engineered and ignored by these western nations the scenes of death, violent overthrow of government, duty oil game fitted with unfairness, and distortion or perjured perception of the rules of diplomacy and democracy, all smack of tragedy.
In all, the poet uses strong images to paint the picture of tragedy though imagery (figures of speech). He uses the tone of his poet personae together will the scenes he creates with imagery to make vivid the tragic atmosphere, and to keep his audience in a state of paths.
As a Musician. Okoro sees himself as ministering to the souls of men as the melody combines with the lyrics to log the thematic thrust of the work as an imprint on the audience. The tone of the musician depicts empathy, as he combines sympathy with action that times helps to galvanize the oppressed and generate some cathartic impulse on the audience. The music (as rendered in principles and Dimples compact Disc).pastorals a poet who Could not longer play the ostrich through self – effacing strategy of abstract poet personae. In lending his own voice in the music disc he lift the veil of self – effacing charactering and directly addresses the audience with an “Involving” tone,
In doing this with the tone and real language of men; he portrays a concrete and realities experience, as ‘he makes us see with stark acidity things in the concrete Nigerian landscape, (Dieke, 2012), inducing global landscape. His language together with his tone contains images and experiences he borrowed from the fundamentalism of Nigerian life.
Aesthetics of poetic construction in Fidelis Okero’s pimles and Dimples